Lightning Bug (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-13-2013, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373637

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
78





Studio and Year: Dry County Films - 2004
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 95 Minutes
Genre: Drama, Thriller

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: NA
Starring: Bret Harrison, Laura Prepon, Ashley Lawrence, Hal Sparks and Kevin Gage
Directed by: Robert Hall
Music by: Kevin Kinney
Written by: Robert Hall
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 15, 2012







"There are monsters standing in his way."


Film Synopsis:

A drama/thriller, set in the South, about a young boy who longs to escape the misery of his childhood and the misunderstanding of his hometown..




My Take:

Written and Directed by Robert Hall, Make-up Artist (Teen Wolf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) turned Director (Cromeskull), Lightning Bug is and based on his life story. I threw this Blu-ray in without looking into the film, and was expecting a horror film, and what I ended up getting was an effective coming of age story/thriller. Green (Bret Harrison, Grounded for Life), his Brother and Mother (Ashley Laurence, Hellraiser) have moved from Detroit to the south, where his mother has married an abusive drunk (Kevin Gage, Heat). Life isn't great, and he is considered an outsider, mostly due to his hobby of doing horror make-up effects. Green finds a girlfriend in video store clerk Angevin (Laura Prepon, That '70s Show), but she has a hidden secret or two, and her mom is far from approving of their relationship. His dreams of moving to Hollywood are scoffed at, and he realizes the monsters to really be afraid of are the ones that surround him--His drunk/abusive stepfather, the religious Green finds a friend in video store clerk Angevin (Laura Prepon, That '70s Show). H that brand him a Satanist...its too much for a kid his age. The film was low budget and it was obvious at times. Some questionable acting, shots, and lines aside, the film did a great job keeping my interest. Lightning Bug was held together by a great performance from Bret Harrison, and I found myself caring for Green and am glad he did overcame such a weird and twisted childhood. This was is enjoyable low-budget film that would have went under my radar if it wasn't for this release from Image Entertainment.

Parental Guide:

Violence, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.




AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 80

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 76

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Lightning Bug comes to Blu-ray disc from Image Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23.8 mbps DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless surround sound that has a average bitrate of 3.8 mbps.



You will not be buying Lightning Bug based on its A/V quality. Fans will be buying it because they are fans and its amount of extras, but this film, shot in super 16mm can get pretty ugly. That being said, some shots look fabulous with some superb clarity. Unfortunately the bad outweighs the good and most shots are soft, there is an abundance of noise in blacks and colors do seem a bit washed out. Thankfully the movie kept my interest, and I assume this is the best it has looked on home video. The audio track is in the same boat, with a strange sound design that favors awkward use of surround, a hollow feel and limited dynamics. Strangely, dialogue was never hard to understand and LFE did some surprising tricks.



Bonus Features:


  • Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Robert Hall

  • Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Robert Hall, Producer Lisa Waugh and Actors Ashley Lawrence and Laura Prepon

  • (HD) Extended Cut (add. 15min)

  • (HD) 2 Featurettes

  • (HD) Trailer

  • (HD) Deleted Scenes with Commentary

  • (HD) Outtakes

  • (HD) Kevin Kinney Music Video




Final Thoughts:

You will not be buying Lightning Bug based on its A/V quality. Fans will be buying it because they are fans and because of its amount of extras, but this film, shot in super 16mm, can get pretty ugly. This coming of age story kept my interest, had a unique feel and some wacky characters that are based on real people from Writer/Director Robert Hall's youth. I enjoyed this one but don't see much replay value in owning, however, I do think those interested will enjoy a rental.

124310







Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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post #2 of 4 Old 01-13-2013, 03:27 PM
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Poor Lee..... frown.gif

At least it wasn't that bad.

Thanks for the review. biggrin.gif

The chick on the cover looks like Taylor Swift. redface.gif

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post #3 of 4 Old 01-14-2013, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Poor Lee..... frown.gif

At least it wasn't that bad.

Thanks for the review. biggrin.gif

The chick on the cover looks like Taylor Swift. redface.gif

That's Laura Prepon, whom played Donna on "That '70s Show".
Safari Ken likes this.

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post #4 of 4 Old 01-16-2013, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Poor Lee..... frown.gif

At least it wasn't that bad.

Thanks for the review. biggrin.gif

The chick on the cover looks like Taylor Swift. redface.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post

That's Laura Prepon, whom played Donna on "That '70s Show".

You got it, yadfgp...

Yep. it's Laura Prepon, I liked her much better as a redhead.
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